When Lyn Brown began to teach quilting classes in 2000 at Cypress and Buena Park Senior Centers, she suggested several times that someone should start a quilt guild in our part of Orange County. Since no one else was doing it, I made up an interest list and Lyn passed it around in her classes.
Charlotte Hansen asked me if I needed help on getting a quilt guild started, and I gladly accepted her offer. We needed a place to meet, and since I was on the advisory committee for Acacia Adult Day Services in Cypress, I asked their board if we could meet there in exchange for making them one large quilt per year and other quilts as needed for fundraising. In early 2004, they agreed to let us meet in the adult day health care building.
Our first planning meeting was on March 15, 2004. We had a good turnout and agreed to meet again in April. Charlotte and I started doing research on guild bylaws and wrote a rough draft before the next meeting. We then sought officers to be able to get our 501(c3) status and become official. At that time, Sonia Das offered her services as an attorney, in exchange for a lifetime membership.
My husband didn’t want me to be President that first year, as I was caring for my Mom and my grandson. We asked who might be interested and Susan Stokes volunteered. Charlotte and I spoke with her at length and felt she had the ability and same goals, so we put her on the ballot as our first president. It is interesting to note that at that time, neither Charlotte nor I had ever attended a guild meeting. Susan was a new member of the Orange County Quilters Guild, and Sonia was a member of the Orange County Quilters Guild and Quilters by the Sea.
At the May 3rd meeting we agreed our first regular meeting and fiscal year would be Monday, June 7, 2004. At that meeting, we voted for and installed our first officers. Our first speaker was Lyn Brown since she was instrumental in our decision to start a new guild. Her talk was, "Everything I Learned About Quilting, I Learned at Guild."
One of our main goals for our new guild was to have a friendly guild, without politics, and one which was there to help others—other individuals, other charities, and our community. We are continuing to meet that goal. In 2021, we'll have our 17th birthday!
We soon outgrew our location in Cypress and even had to have members bring their own chairs to the meetings. In July of 2006, we were formally asked to find a new location. It was a difficult time to do so, as our President at that time was Sonia Das, and she was away visiting family in India. I was the Vice President, so the task fell to me. Several members of Lyn’s Buena Park class suggested that I talk to Kim Garber, director of the Buena Park Senior Activity Center, about meeting there. Kim was delighted to have us, but the only night available was Thursday, so we changed our meeting night and location as of August 2006, and Acacia and the Center have been assets to each other ever since.